How Much Should I Spend on HVAC Marketing?

Written by Matthew Ludden / March 4, 2024 / 9 Minute Read
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Tired of guessing if your HVAC marketing dollars are working? Get a proven framework to analyze your spending and maximize results. Stop throwing money at tactics, start building a strategy that drives growth!


If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the HVAC industry and wondering how much you should budget for your marketing. As a leading HVAC marketing agency, the team at Valve+Meter Performance Marketing helps businesses navigate this issue.

First, let’s acknowledge that you’re not alone in this. Every HVAC business owner, at some point, grapples with the question of when and how to spend money on advertising.

For HVAC contractors, the drive to reach more customers and grow your HVAC business can feel confusing at best and perilous at worst. Traditional marketing dollars cannot be measured, but digital marketing and data tools are transforming this.

Valve+Meter helps you stop wasting money on tactics and start building HVAC strategies that drive revenue and build repeatable results.

This article offers a breakdown of performance marketing and why there is an unlimited budget for marketing that works.

Key Moments:

  • Understanding HVAC Marketing In Today’s Market: Learn why old-school advertising isn’t enough anymore.
  • The Best Marketing Tools To Grow Your HVAC Company: Discover the must-have tools for the modern HVAC business.
  • Factors Influencing HVAC Marketing Strategy: Uncover what makes your market unique and how to tailor your approach.
  • Effective Marketing Tactics: Get actionable tactics, not just vague advice.
  • Strategy Versus Tactics: Finally understand the difference, and why one matters more.
  • Tracking And Optimization: Find out how to make data-driven improvements to your marketing.
  • The Flywheel Effect: See how a smart marketing plan builds momentum over time.

Understanding HVAC Marketing in Today's Market

When we say HVAC marketing, what exactly do we mean?

Simply put, HVAC marketing refers to the tools and tactics used to attract and retain customers for your HVAC business.

Traditional marketing allocates marketing dollars for paid advertising. For decades, print ads, radio, television, billboards, and direct mail were the primary tools used to build brand awareness and reach an audience.

The internet transformed how consumers and commercial HVAC clients discover new HVAC companies. Today, HVAC digital marketing helps make your services known to your clients and potential customers, convincing them of your expertise, and ultimately, winning their business.

The mission has not changed but a performance digital marketing agency can help you spend money more effectively.

The HVAC industry is highly competitive with dozens of HVAC contractors offering similar services in your area.

So, how do you stand out from the crowd?

The difference is changing your perspective on how marketing drives your business. Valve+Meter focuses on strategy over tactics.

Our digital marketing services research, plan, and measure every marketing effort for your HVAC company.

When HVAC businesses stop spending on marketing packages and start building custom strategies, the results are transformational.

Infographic of Performance Marketing In HVAC

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What Are The Best Marketing Tools To Grow Your HVAC Company?

HVAC services are always in demand. Each year in the United States, over 3 million HVAC systems are replaced. Another $13 billion is spent on maintenance service and repairs.

So how do you make your HVAC business the first one that comes to mind when customers need your services?

Before spending a dollar on marketing, you must determine what works for your business.

Valve+Meter executes complete marketing services including branding, creative, web services, search engine optimization, and paid advertising for HVAC companies.

The key to success for any small business is asking the right questions to grow your business and building strategies that drive revenue.

There is an unlimited budget for marketing that works.

Spend on advertising that delivers a strong message about your expertise and commitment to customer service, and measure the results of your marketing. What does it look like in today’s market?

Digital Marketing

Let’s cut to the quick, HVAC companies must have a professional website that attracts, engages, and converts visitors to leads for your sales team.

Performance-focused HVAC website design and development is easy to navigate, optimized for search engines, and built for mobile responsiveness.

Drag-and-drop and template websites put you at a disadvantage against larger competitors.

Owning your domain and all intellectual property are vital to long-term success. Your digital marketing agency should design, build, and share all assets with you.

An effective HVAC website ranges in price depending on the number of services you offer, the size of your service area, and the functionality of your website.

Search Engine Optimization

For HVAC companies to succeed, you must be discoverable across Google, Bing, and social media.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) powers your website’s organic search engine results. Creating high-quality content reaches your target audience, showcases your HVAC services and converts leads to customers.

SEO for HVAC companies also includes technical and off-page efforts to enhance your online presence with local citation building, link building, and directory management.

SEO is an investment in the health of your website and online presence.

Most HVAC companies invest in ongoing monthly SEO strategies. Over time, SEO can produce significant results. Unlike a paid advertisement, high-quality content that ranks high in organic search results can attract HVAC leads for years.

Paid Advertising

SEO takes time to gain momentum. When your HVAC company cannot earn visibility in Google, paid advertising can buy it.

Pay-per-click Google Ads, social media ads, and Local Services Ads place your HVAC business in front of consumers in need of your services.

Paid digital marketing services including Google Ads must focus on consumers in your service area ready to buy.

Conducting research, designing effective ads with dynamic landing pages, and constantly monitoring performance is key to earning the best return on marketing spend (ROMS).

Beyond Search Results

There are many other powerful marketing tools for HVAC companies ranging from branding and graphic design to direct mail and programmatic advertising.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to HVAC marketing. Instead of thinking about an HVAC marketing budget, consider ROMS.

How can you measure the return on your marketing dollars?

Integrating data from marketing campaigns into your sales and CRM, you can learn what efforts are driving revenue and what tactics need to be optimized or eliminated altogether.

The strategies that work best for you will depend on various factors, including your target audience, your market, and your specific business goals.

Brian Peters

Evergreen Heating & Cooling

“We knew who we were but we handed ironed out exactly where we wanted to go. Through the ThinkFirst™ process, we knew this is where we want to go.”
Results $10:1
$10:1 return on marketing spend.
Driven 53%
53% Year over year growth rate.

Factors Influencing HVAC Marketing Strategy

Identifying how much to spend on advertising requires research and planning. At Valve+Meter, we practice Math-Before-Marketing™ from the moment you connect with our team.

Learning about your HVAC company, your current situation, and your long-term vision determines how to invest and more importantly, what marketing efforts will deliver the best results.

Let’s explore key factors that can influence your HVAC marketing costs:

  1. Size of Your Business: The size of your HVAC business plays a significant role in determining the scope of your marketing budget. Larger companies may have capacity for more service calls than smaller ones. Alternatively, smaller firms with an appetite for growth can often make more nimble choices than larger companies.
  2. Target Market and Geographic Location: Your target market and service area must also be considered. Consumer behavior and competition vary from urban and rural markets. Additionally, the demographics of your target market can influence the marketing channels that yield the best results.
  3. Marketing Channels Used: Digital marketing strategies like SEO and social media marketing can be cost-effective but require time and expertise. Paid advertising like PPC and Google Local Services Ads can capture faster results, but with a higher cost per lead.
  4. Quality of Marketing Materials and Strategies: The quality of your current marketing materials and strategies can also affect your costs. Investing in professional website design and high-quality content marketing are beneficial, but these things often come with higher costs.
  5. Case Study or Examples: To illustrate these points, consider the example of an HVAC business that decided to invest heavily in digital marketing.

Strategy Versus Tactics

A conventional marketing budget does not drive sustainable results.

Using a series of tactics can feel like rolling a boulder up a hill. There is a constant weight of your HVAC marketing budget, but the moment you stop spending on advertising what happens?

Leads halt and sales slow.

Strategy considers your entire vision and builds accordingly. When you research, plan, execute and measure the results of your efforts, your HVAC marketing budget becomes an engine to drive you forward.

A horizontal timeline graphic depicting four sequential stages of performance marketing for HVAC: 1. research, 2. planning, 3. execution, and 4. analysis, connected by a line.

Tracking and Optimization

Navigating the world of HVAC marketing can be complex, especially as new HVAC technology, regulations, and other trends are changing the industry.

How Can an HVAC Marketing Agency Help Reduce Marketing Budget?

When you partner with the right marketing agency, data tracking and transparent reporting help guide your decision-making.

Valve+Meter specializes in creating and implementing marketing strategies specifically tailored for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning businesses. Our deep understanding is driven by data about the market, the competition, and the unique challenges and opportunities in this field.

Tracking your unique marketing activities, meeting regularly with your account manager, and making adjustments reduces wasted advertising dollars and maximizes your brand growth.

The Flywheel Effect

HVAC digital marketing planning, campaigns, tracking, and optimization are all drivers of the flywheel effect.

Remember that metaphor of your HVAC budget feeling like rolling a boulder uphill?

The flywheel effect is an apt metaphor for performance marketing in HVAC.

When you decide there is an unlimited budget for marketing that works, you have to measure what marketing works.

Measuring the ROMS of Your HVAC Marketing Efforts

Return on Marketing Spend (ROMS) is the indicator that measures the marketing attributable revenue generated by your entire campaign and by individual activities.

ROMS measure the revenue generated for each dollar invested in marketing.

Understanding your ROMS isn’t just about knowing the ratio of $10:1 ROMS. It’s about understanding what worked and what didn’t.

If a campaign had a high ROMS, analyze what made it successful. Conversely, if a campaign had a low ROMS, try to understand why and what could be improved.

Activating Your Flywheel

Adjust your marketing strategies by studying ROMS. The goal is not to find the highest return on marketing spend. Instead, you are activating the flywheel within your business.

At rest, a flywheel wants to remain inert. Like a business where sales are slow or you have reached a plateau in growth, moving a flywheel requires a push.

Marketing is a push, but that does not build momentum. A flywheel wants to remain in its current state.

HVAC digital marketing strategy based on data and measurable performance reveals campaigns that can be repeated and scaled.

Each push of your flywheel gains momentum. Investing in programs that deliver acceptable ROMS accelerates your business until the flywheel effect takes over.

Eventually, a flywheel in motion wants to stay in motion. A lead generating website, SEO, PPC, and other marketing efforts can be adjusted to meet the needs of your business.

Keeping a close eye on your ROMS isn’t a task to be done once and forgotten. It’s an ongoing process that should be woven into the fabric of your marketing strategy.

Why Partner With Valve+Meter?

Valve+Meter has a proven process for results-driven marketing. Building a marketing campaign to suit your business starts with a free marketing assessment.

Get Started Now

How Do I Build An HVAC Marketing Budget?

Don’t build a marketing budget. Build a strategy, measure results, and achieve sustainable growth.

Think of your marketing not as an expense but as an investment. An investment that, when carefully managed and regularly evaluated, has the potential to propel your HVAC business forward.

At Valve+Meter, we collaborate with leaders driven to transform your marketing campaign into a revenue driver.

Ready To Transform Your HVAC Company?

Discover digital marketing services built to fit your business. With decades of experience, our team delivers HVAC businesses insights backed by data. Start your free marketing assessment to build a smarter, unlimited marketing budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

HVAC marketing may refer to various activities used to attract and retain customers for your business.

Marketing encompasses different tactics and philosophies.

Some traditional or conventional marketing tactics include tv, radio, billboards, print ads, and direct mail. It can be challenging to measure the results of these efforts.

HVAC digital marketing services including SEO, PPC, social media, paid advertising, email, and other online marketing can be quantified through tracking of leads and sales.

All HVAC marketing involves making your services known to potential customers, convincing them of your expertise, and winning their business.

Marketing is crucial in the HVAC industry because it helps businesses stand out in a highly competitive market. It builds brand awareness, establishes trust and credibility, and ensures that your business is the first to come to mind when customers need HVAC services.

Effective HVAC marketing strategies include digital marketing (like SEO, email marketing, and online advertising), and marketing agency social media marketing, content marketing, and traditional marketing methods like direct mail and print advertising.

The best strategies for your business will depend on your target audience, budget, and specific business goals.

In terms of performance marketing, all HVAC marketing ideas are valid when the results can be measured. If you cannot track results directly, then marketing remains a constant expense instead of a revenue driver.

The amount you should spend on HVAC marketing can vary widely depending on factors like the size of your business, your target market, the marketing channels you use, and the quality of your digital marketing materials.

An accepted rule of thumb is to spend around 5-10% of your revenue on marketing, but this can vary.

At Valve+Meter, we believe in unlimited marketing for marketing that works.

You can make your HVAC marketing more cost-effective by focusing on measurable marketing efforts.

In an industry where customer retention is low and competition is high, leveraging performance marketing tools helps to build strategies based on their effectiveness.

This mindset reduces wasted marketing expenses and broadens the definition of successful marketing campaigns.

The most important factor in reducing your HVAC marketing budget is to align your marketing strategy with your business goals.

You can improve the return on investment (ROI) of your HVAC marketing by regularly tracking your marketing results, understanding and calculating your ROMS, and adjusting your marketing activities based on these insights.

There are various tools to track HVAC marketing results. For example, Google Analytics can be used for website traffic and conversion tracking. Google Search Console can track search engine performance. Social media platforms have built-in analytics for tracking engagement metrics. There are several tracking and performance platforms to measure marketing efforts beyond these free platforms.

Marketing should be constantly evaluated. Schedule regular evaluations including key performance indicators of each marketing activity you are running.

When you can measure the results of your marketing activities, you should allow for campaigns to run a full course. Seasonal changes and abnormal weather conditions will impact HVAC businesses.

Setting benchmarks for weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews help you adjust your marketing activities and maximize your return on investment.